May 2021

Massachusetts Affinity Bars

Educational Resources

Book Suggestions

  • Not Quite Not White: Losing and Finding Race in America by Sharmila Sen
    “At the age of 12, Sharmila Sen emigrated from India to the U.S. [Massachusetts] The year was 1982, and everywhere she turned, she was asked to self-report her race – on INS forms, at the doctor’s office, in middle school. After her teen years trying to assimilate, she is forced to reckon with the hard questions: What does it mean to be white, why does whiteness retain the magic cloak of invisibility while other colors are made hypervisible, and how much does whiteness figure into Americanness?”
  • Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White by Frank H. Wu
    “Writing in the tradition of W. E. B. Du Bois, Cornel West, and others who confronted the “color line” of the twentieth century, journalist, scholar, and activist Frank H. Wu offers a unique perspective on how changing ideas of racial identity will affect race relations in the twenty-first century. Wu examines affirmative action, globalization, immigration, and other controversial contemporary issues through the lens of the Asian-American experience. Mixing personal anecdotes, legal cases, and journalistic reporting, Wu confronts damaging Asian-American stereotypes such as “the model minority” and “the perpetual foreigner.” By offering new ways of thinking about race in American society, Wu’s work dares us to make good on our great democratic experiment.”
  • We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future by Deepa Iyer
    “Iyer asks whether hate crimes should be considered domestic terrorism and explores the role of the state in perpetuating racism through detentions, national registration programs, police profiling, and constant surveillance.”
  • The Chinese in America: A Narrative History by Iris Chang
    “Interweaving political, social, economic, and cultural history, as well as the stories of individuals, Chang offers a bracing view not only of what it means to be Chinese American, but also of what it is to be American.”
  • The Making of Asian America: A History by Erika Lee
    “A “comprehensive…fascinating” (The New York Times Book Review) history of Asian Americans and their role in American life, by one of the nation’s preeminent scholars on the subject.”
  • Bengali Harlem and the Lost Histories of South Asian America by Vivek Bald
    “Vivek Bald’s meticulous reconstruction reveals a lost history of South Asian sojourning and life-making in the United States. At a time when Asian immigrants were vilified and criminalized, Bengali Muslims quietly became part of some of America’s most iconic neighborhoods of color, from Tremé in New Orleans to Detroit’s Black Bottom, from West Baltimore to Harlem. Many started families with Creole, Puerto Rican, and African American women.”